Book Review: After Life – Images from the Key West Cemetery

After-Life-CoverAfter Life – Images from the Key West Cemetery, published by the New Atlantian Library is a beautiful look at the final resting places of many of the local citizens who helped make Key West into the city it is today.

Key West’s history, is very much alive in the city’s cemetery. Each headstone represents not only a person, but an entire life and unique story. There is much to be learned about life and death in a cemetery. This book contrasts the new and the old, rich and the poor, the famous and the obscure. It is an interesting look at how our lives are intertwined – both the past and present, woven together into one beautiful tapestry. You’ll see different races and religions side by side, ancient gravestones with new plastic flowers at the base – a sign that the person they memorialize continues to live on in the heart of someone who is still with us today. New life springs up in the form of flowers and creatures scurrying around and gives us hope. There is a certain silence and grace found in this cemetery and it is portrayed vividly by the keen and observant eyes of the photographers.

The book, like the cemetery, lends itself to mystery. It’s silence and beautiful images leave room for the imagination, and thinking about the mystery of life and death. It gives us a chance to breathe and appreciate the beauty of what is.

A labor of love, this book was beautifully created by three Florida Keys women. Photographed by Carol Tedesco (, an acclaimed photographer and historic shipwreck expert who writes, speaks and consults on shipwreck artifacts and coins including the Atocha; and Roberta DePiero, a local photographer, photographer volunteer and genealogy researcher. The narrative for this book was written by Jane Newhagen ( who is the archivist for the Key West Cemetery as well as an historic novelist  and four-time winner of the Key West Writers Guild’s Short Story Contest.

After Life – Images from the Key West Cemetery was funded in part by a grant to Carol Tedesco from the Anne McKee Artists Fund of the Florida Keys.


Click here to order a copy — After Life: Images from the Key West Cemetery

As editor of Island Jane and FishMonster Magazines it is my job to bring you the very best of the Florida Keys.
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